Where Did Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Land in Newest Way-Too-Early SEC Power Rankings

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss Rebels men’s basketball team quietly revamped its roster via the NCAA Transfer Portal this offseason, recruiting the No. 13 portal class in the nation, per On3.

After finishing the 2023-24 season with a 20-12 overall record and a tough 7-11 conference record, Ole Miss coach Chris Beard knew he needed to infuse his roster with more talent and found five transfers who will add to both his starting lineup and bench.

247Sports recently released way-too-early power rankings for the Southeastern Conference, and after a strong offseason of recruiting, the Rebels are currently rated as the No. 8 team in the SEC. The outlet even projected Ole Miss’ starting five and top reserves:

Guard: Sean Pedulla (transfer)

Guard: Jaylen Murray

Wing: Dre Davis (transfer)

Forward: Jaemyn Brakefield

Forward: Malik Dia (transfer)

Bench: Guard TJ Caldwell, Forward Mikeal Brown-Jones (transfer), Center John Bol (freshman), Wing Davon Barnes, Forward Ja’Von Barnes (transfer)

“Ole Miss is in a fascinating spot,” per 247Sports. “There’s room for Matthew Murrell to return and be one of the top shooting guards in the league, again. But he’s impressed throughout the NBA Draft process. He’s got a real decision to make even though he was not invited to the NBA Draft combine. Add him to this group, and Ole Miss is in business. Even without Murrell, Ole Miss has every opportunity to make a real jump.

“Beard’s second season at Texas Tech had a huge jump. Ole Miss could do the same even if Murrell stays in the NBA Draft. But the buzz around this team will start to grow in earnest if Murrell runs it back.”

Beard is not messing around entering his second season at Ole Miss. If senior Matthew Murrell returns, this team could become one of the better teams in the SEC by the end of the 2024-25 season, assuming the Rebels fare better versus conference opponents.

Part of the problem with the Rebels last season was they did not have a great bench. Once Ole Miss reached conference play, the Rebels’ reserves struggled to total more than 10 points per game. TJ Caldwell will benefit from another full offseason under Beard, and he will be accompanied by proven scorers when the Rebels suit up for their season-opener later this fall.

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